It’s been three years.
Three years of seismic shift and exponential growth. Lots of tears and anger and joy and pleasure. Learning experiences, so many damn learning experiences. Stress and gratitude and quiet moments in the breaking of the day. It’s been a moment and a lifetime.
I’ve come to a point where I recognize the perception of Tim that I told in my memory is likely fixed now. I’ve read through all his journals and pawed through all of his material belongings. I’ve read the notes and letters I’ve found tucked in his pockets and places. I’ve explored and analyzed the evidence of his 34 year life that I have at my disposal, and I is likely I have learned everything I will know of the man I loved for 12 years of my life. He was a good man. A brilliant man. A good husband, most of the time, we had our moments. He was a phenomenal father. He loved hard. He was super annoying about housework. He was far more complicated than most people will ever know. I loved him, and always will.
The kids and I have grown and changed a lot in the past three years. I’m now the mother of a six and almost four year old. I’ve been a homeowner for two years. Jack Byron is learning to read and Claira can talk to anyone about anything for hours, seemingly. My mind and body and soul are different. My perceptions have shifted. I’m more relaxed about timelines and screen time and other people’s drama. I’m more open and accepting of the chaos. I don’t take things for granted. I’ve worked through my grief, and though it visits from time to time, it’s more a quiet companion that rests in the edges of my conscience. It’s a part of my life. It’s not my whole life.
I’ve met a lot of new people and experienced a lot of new things in the past three years. Good things, fun things, frustrating things, life changing things. I’ve amassed a completely new collection of furniture and clothes and material possessions. I’m not the same woman I was in the hospital three years ago, but I’m proud of that woman. I embrace the woman I’ve become. I’m different, in good ways, and I’m grateful for that. I keep trying and working and putting effort into being the person I want to be. I’ve loved other men since Tim. In different and meaningful ways. I call someone else “my love” now, and he’s deserving of that title. He’s not Tim. He’s his own man, and I love him for the man he is. It’s a shift, reconciling what I thought would be with what it, but my heart and mind have grown with each new connection and experience, and I’m thankful for all of it.
Today does not carry the crushing weight it once did. It’s easier (they say it doesn’t get easier, but it has for me). It’s different. I’ve learned to roll with that, to manage the surreal-ness of it all. To accept the path that has unfolded and harness what I have to do what I wish.
While I would prefer an alive Tim that could watch his children grow up, I’ve come to accept the brief but beautiful life the universe offered him. I still feel him with us. He’s always in my heart.
Three years. We are doing ok. Actually, we are dong great. Because of who Tim was, and what he taught us, and everything he left us.
Thank for for all of it, love.
Wild Geese | Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.